A New Generation at Marshall's Florist
By Laura Christman
In Full Bloom
Story by Laura Christman
Photos by Melinda Hunter
MIXING BUSINESS, family and flowers is a nice arrangement for the Reuthers of Redding. When Marshall’s Florist and Fine Gifts was on the market more than a year ago, Jan Reuther, a longtime customer of the longtime business, floated the idea of purchasing it to her son Blake, grandson Adam, and Adam’s wife, Brittney. Adam and Brittney were in North Carolina and expecting a baby at the time. Brittney, who grew up in Cottonwood, and Adam, who spent his childhood in Redding, liked the idea of returning to the North State.
“We really wanted our son to grow up around family,” Brittney says.
So in December 2017, three generations of Reuthers became the new owners of Marshall’s Florist – almost at the same moment that Brittney and Adam became parents to Owen.
“We had him and took over Marshall’s the next day,” Brittney says. A new baby and a new business kept them busy. “He went on deliveries with us. He’s been a working baby.”
Adam and Brittney are the operating directors, working on orders, designs, delivery and other aspects of the daily operation. Jan and Blake are business partners, jumping in to help with on-the-ground tasks during crunch times. The Reuthers are the fourth owners of Marshall’s Florist, according to Brittney. It opened in 1972 in Cypress Square, later moved to a larger building on Park Marina Circle and eventually returned to Cypress Square, where it was when the Reuthers purchased it. Last October, they moved the floral business to Hartnell Avenue where José Antonio’s, a gift and garden center, had a long run in Redding.
“This was Jan’s baby. It was her idea to buy it and renovate it,” Brittney says of the former José Antonio’s digs and the potential her grandmother-in-law saw in the space.
The unique retail location includes buildings, patios, trellises and a showy pond with a waterfall and hefty, colorful koi. A fig tree and Japanese maples give the setting a shady, peaceful vibe. José Antonio’s was known for unique European gifts and garden statuary, and the Reuthers inherited two large lion statues as well as some substantial patio pots.
The plan is to use the outdoor areas for weddings, receptions, luncheons or other gatherings. Beyond events, the Reuthers would like the grounds to be a peaceful spot for people to wander through or simply sit and unwind.
“We want it to be a welcoming place – a garden area where people can come in and relax and enjoy,” Brittney says.
They added a deck, planted gardenias and plan to make other improvements. “Every year we’ll do something,” Brittney says.
Marshall’s Florist sells some décor items and unique gifts, such as vases and candles, but the focus is flowers.
“We do all types of arrangements – birth of a baby, new house, anniversaries,” Brittney notes.
Whether flowers are sent as a message of love, celebration, sympathy, recovery, gratitude or friendship, the goal is for customers to feel welcome and appreciated. “First and foremost, we want people to feel like family,” she says.
Marshall’s has a staff of eight (four work full time). Brittney and her husband had business experience, but flowers were new territory. “We spent a lot of time researching – flowers, care and design techniques,” she says.
She’s enjoyed learning, going to the wholesale markets and meeting the flower farmers. On the mornings of deliveries, blossoms arrive in Redding at 5 am, and there’s a lot to be done – removing thorns from roses, stripping leaves and quick-dipping stems.
While it was a bit intimidating to step into a business that has been around so long, Brittney says the experience has been positive, and the community very welcoming.
“We have amazing customers. Marshall’s has a really good reputation,” she says.
She has new appreciation for the power of flowers – what goes into creating a beautiful bouquet, as well as how meaningful it can be to receive one.
“There’s something special about getting something so pretty,” Brittney says. “It makes you feel extra special.” •
870 Hartnell Ave., Redding
www.marshallsfloristredding.com (530) 241-3116